Barely a month into the launch of the direct benefits transfer (DBT) scheme, a barrage of teething problems has cropped up, including banks refusing to open accounts on the basis of Aadhaar numbers.
Aadhaar and bank/post office accounts are the two essential requirements for the beneficiaries to reap the benefits of DBT.
Three back-to-back meetings were held on Friday involving some ministries and the planning commission to plug the loopholes on a war-footing basis.
The government managers fear that the scheme has a long way to go before delivering the desired results.
Complaints, mainly from Maharashtra’s Amravati, Pune and Wardha, said many rural bank branches were not considering Aadhaar numbers as the all-inclusive identity proof.
Banks, on the other hand, alleged that they are not getting enough business correspondents (BCs) —their representatives to tour villages to disburse payments—in many places.
Low commission rates in some states are seen as major impediment to recruit more BCs.
Secretary (planning) Sindhusree Khullar had called the collectors of all DBT districts to expedite the enrollment process.
But the government learnt that at many places, there were not even enough machines to capture bio-metrics.
In Amaravati, the average rate of daily enrollment is around 40 while the desired rate is at least 1,000 people.
According to the sources, the Centre plans to add more districts of Kerala in the current list of DBT states to boost its DBT success rate.
“Kerala is a smaller state but has very well-organized habitations. Enrollment process would be very easy,” said an official.